The Gospel is good news, the very best news anyone can hear. Children can understand it; it is so profound that the wisest theologians will never exhaust its riches.
The Gospel announces that God loved the world so profoundly that He gave His Son to die on the cross for lost sinners. Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sins. Christís resurrection makes ours possible. Whoever believes in Christ will not perish but have everlasting life. Jesus Christ is the only Savior, the one and only mediator between God and humanity, the only hope of the world.
We confess the historic Christian faith and proclaim the life-transforming Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, His virgin birth, sinless life, miracles, death on the cross to provide for our redemption, bodily resurrection and ascension into heaven, present ministry of intercession for us, and His return to earth in power and glory.
1. The God of the Bible is the one and only God.
God is a living and active Spirit, eternal and free, perfect in justice, goodness and love, totally self-sufficient, all-powerful, and all knowing. He rules the world and is worthy to receive all glory, honor, worship, and obedience. All things and people are dependent upon Him as their creator and sustainer. God made humans distinct from everything else by creating them in His image. Every man and woman, as an image-bearer of God, has dignity and is worthy of respect, care, and protection.
The Bible teaches that the one and only God is three persons within the unity of the divine being. God is the Father who sent His only Son to save the lost. The Holy Spirit is sent to apply the work of Christ to us. Because God exists forever in this three-personal life, the church speaks of Him as the Holy Trinity.
2. The Bible is Godís written Word.
The Bible is the revealed Word of God, given in and through the words of human writers whom the Holy Spirit inspired and guided. The Bible is truthful in all that it affirms and without error as originally given by God. The Bible tells us what we need to know about God, His law, His salvation, and how we should live. The Bible is the only infallible rule of faith and life. It alone is the final authority establishing all Christian doctrine.
3. Sin has broken our fellowship with God.
Although created righteous, our first parents, Adam and Eve, fell into sin. As a result of their disobedience, all humans are born moral rebels. We have inherited a sinful nature that leads us to think and act as if we were God. We do not have it in us to stop breaking Godís moral standards. Indeed, God sees us as guilty, helpless, hopeless slaves of sin and alienated from Himself and one another. The just penalty of our sin is death.
4. God so loved the world that He gave His Son to die for lost and perishing sinners.
Salvation is deliverance from the penalty of past sin, the power of present sin, and finally, when life here ends, from the very presence of sin and all its ill effects. Christ came in human flesh to rescue sinners. Having modeled true godliness throughout His perfect life, Jesus died in our place, suffered the penalty we deserved, and satisfied Godís justice for us. By His sacrificial substitution for us, He redeemed us from our slavery to sin and reconciled us to the Father, making peace between the Father and ourselves. By His bodily resurrection, Christ defeated death and supremely demonstrated His deity.
Our salvation is due solely to grace, which means Godís undeserved love to those who deserve the exact opposite: ďFor it is by grace you have been saved, through faithóand this not from yourselves, it is the gift of Godónot by works, so that no one can boast.Ē Salvation is a free gift of God, not of any works we do. We are justified by faith alone in Christ alone. The moment we believe, Christís righteousness is accounted or imputed to us. On this basis our sins are forgiven, and we ourselves are given a righteous personís status in Godís sight, sinners though we still are. We have been rescued from eternal misery apart from God and given a new life of joy, peace, and thanksgiving in Christ.
5. God the Holy Spirit regenerates and empowers believers to live the Christian life.
The Holy Spirit not only gives believers a new nature but also an assurance of their salvation. The Holy Spirit empowers believers to live the Christian life and calls us to holy living. Spiritual power is very much needed because the Christian life is a constant conflict with the world, the flesh, and the devil. The Holy Spirit helps the believer to practice Christ-like virtues that Paul in Galatians 5:22-23 calls the Spiritís fruit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Followers of Christ also receive from the Holy Spirit the particular spiritual gifts they need for their servant ministries to others. His power accompanies their presentations of the Gospel. The Holy Spirit attests to the truth and authority of the Scriptures and believers utilize the Scriptures to test and stand against the deceiving spirits led by the Evil One.
Our Lord calls us to love the Lord our God with all our strength, soul, and mind, and our neighbors as ourselves. In our citizenship in Godís kingdom, our faith will appear barren if we do not show love and humility by caring for the poor, sick, widows, orphans, and outcasts, by comforting the sorrowing, by helping the needy, and by shielding the oppressed from the oppressor.
6. By their union with Christ, the head of the universal church, all believers are united to one another.
The Holy Spirit unites every sinner reconciled to God by faith in Christ to all other believers in one body. The universal church is an international, multi-ethnic, and transcultural family, the household of faith. Christ is the sole head of the church, also referred to in Scripture as the body and bride of Christ and the temple of the Holy Spirit. Local churches are, in varying degrees, visible manifestations of the one universal church. They exist where the Word of God and the Gospel are faithfully preached and baptism and the Lordís Supper are faithfully administered. Our Lord prayed that believers would be one. Our unity will be manifested as the Faithful reach beyond racial and denominational lines to demonstrate the reconciling power of Christ.
7. The Churchís primary task in every generation is to proclaim the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ commissioned His disciples to take His Gospel to every man and woman in the world. Every Christian and every local church is entrusted with the privilege and responsibility of proclaiming this glorious Gospel. Nothing must divert the church from its task of compassionately communicating the Gospel. So it must be till Christ comes again, not only for the Final Judgment, but to bring His church into the final glory. And so we say with great anticipation, ďEven so, come, Lord Jesus.Ē
All Scriptural references are from the New International Version of the Bible.
(used with permission from Promise Keepers International)
Copyright © 2006 [Hudson Valley Men of God]. All rights reserved.